Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Looking back on my life, I can see with clarity the times that I treated my faith like it was just some ordinary thing. In one way, this can be good, if it means that life has so incorporated faith that worshipping and following Jesus is second nature. But often, it has meant not treating what I believe as something that has truly come from God himself. In high school and college, Catholicism was something I saved for Sunday and my time at the Newman Center, separated from the rest of my life. It was a hobby that I enjoyed and used to spend time with friends, but it didn’t really inform how I lived. I made jokes about it, didn’t pray around people, and let belief fall by the wayside if I felt uncomfortable. I had no real consideration for the pure gift that God had bestowed upon and in me.
Today, Jesus confirms how sacred the faith is and all the mysteries that come with it. It has been entrusted to us by the grace of our baptism and passed down to us by parents, family, priests, and catechists. We have been given something truly holy, which for the Jews of Jesus’ time would have only been allowed to be handled by the priests in the Temple. This means that Jesus in the gospel is affirming our priestly character. We all have it, thanks to baptism. No, it’s not the ministerial priesthood that Jesus gave to his apostles and has been passed down through the bishops, but it is the common priesthood of the faithful. We can hold on to sacred things and offer our own sacrifices to God.
Our faith is something of great value that God calls to treasure, protect, and set at the center of our lives, because that faith is in the way, the truth, and the life – Jesus Christ himself. When I think of all the times I let these holy things be eaten by dogs or trampled by swine, I am ashamed before God that I allowed it to happen. Thankfully, in the eyes of the Father, we ourselves are treasured. He picks us up, sets us back on the path, and restores the holy things within our hearts. Our God wants so much for us. When we allow the holy things to radiate in our hearts as the true treasure they are, we give a beautiful witness to the goodness and generosity of God.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What is your current state in life? And how is Jesus calling you deeper in that state of life?
What are your priorities in life? Do you celebrate and enjoy the good things God has put in your life? Do you remember to love the giver more than the gifts?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I trust you, Lord."
"Help me follow you."
"Thank you, Jesus."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take a moment today to write down the characteristics of a child of God. Then evaluate your own life, perceptions, conversations, and actions along the lines of that list. Where can you grow? Choose one thing to focus on today and this week to grow in your relationship with God as His child.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's Prayer was prepared by Kevin Gregus, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Chicago.